Rotary International District 9570 Board of Directors
Adele Hughes (District Governor)
Chair of the Board
Born in the lovely little north Queensland town of Ingham, Adele’s family transferred around, until at the age of 13, Gladstone became the family’s first permanent home.
Adele worked as a receptionist at a Doctor’s surgery, and in administration at the Gladstone Hospital. She met and married a dashing young hockey player, Wade Hughes. They have 4 children, 4 children-in-law and 10 grandchildren, who are the delight of their lives.
In 1978 they established their first business – a printing firm, which has run successfully for the past 40 years, and in 1997 they also established a Funeral Home, which Adele manages.
Wade became a Rotarian in the RC of Gladstone in 1993, and Adele subsequently joined the RC of Gladstone Midday in 1999. Both have been Presidents and Directors over the years, with Adele also doing stints as Secretary.
In 2012 Adele and Wade attended the International Convention in Bangkok, and then also attended the Convention in Sydney in 2014. Adele undertook a trip to Kenya to peruse a potential RAWCS project in 2014. This was followed by another in 2015; a Polio Vaccination trip to India, where they also built a dam (by hand) in 2016. They then took part in a Helping Hands project in Laos in 2017 where one of the prosthetic hands she fitted had been assembled by her grand-daughter here in Gladstone. Over the years Adele and Wade have hosted YEP students, including Jessie from America, Teeranun from Bangkok, Tina from Germany, and Elise from Belgium.
A lifestyle change saw Adele and Wade spending more and more time at the idyllic little haven of Agnes Water and having a desire to bring Rotary to the Discovery Coast. Adele and Wade were instrumental in forming a satellite club of the RC of Gladstone there, Adele subsequently becoming a charter member of the RC of Discovery Coast, in 2016. Adele recently had the honour of organising the 2017/18 District Conference held at Agnes Water.
Adele was also a founding member of the Inner Wheel Club of Port Curtis in 1999, and has served as President, Secretary and Director.
Rod Kamholtz (District Secretary)
Secretary and Managing Director Administration Portfolio
Rod Kamholtz, District Secretary, was born in Stanthorpe on the Granite Belt. He completed his secondary schooling at St Paul’s School in Brisbane where he joined the Interact Club. After this, when he was in Mount Isa, he joined the Mt Isa Rotaract Club, becoming President in the 1976-77 year where he met his wife Yvonne. DG for D9550 Merewyn Wright and Yvonne were both teachers and Rotaractors in Mt Isa at this time.
Rod and Yvonne have three children and 6 grandchildren stretching from Cooktown to Melbourne, so thank goodness for Duo.
He has been in retailing all his life, and after selling his business in Gladstone in 2014, was asked to become a teacher aide at the Gladstone State High School, retiring in June this year.
He joined Rotary in September 1985 in the Palm Beach Rotary Club, then joined the Goonellabah Club (Lismore), followed the Gladstone Port Curtis Club in 1991 after being transferred from Lismore. He was the Charter President of the Gladstone Midday Rotary Club in 1993 President again in 2017-18 for their 25th Year. In 1999 he was the team leader of the GSE team to District 4820 Argentina, an AG for Group 7 and now the Group 7 Club Mentor, and District Secretary twice.
Chris Bekkeli (District Treasurer)
Non Executive Director Treasurer
Michael Buckeridge (Immediate Past District Governor)
Managing Director Youth Portfolio
Michael meet his wife Karen in Mackay Queensland and they were married in 1978. They have three sons, Adam, Carl and Ryan, who are married to Sunny, Victoria and Amy respectively. Karen and Michael are blessed with three grandsons Arthur, Henry and Caleb.
Michael worked in the Electricity industry for 41 years where he lead the Mackay Secondary Systems Group was responsible for the safe commissioning of large High Voltage Substation Projects and fault investigations. He has been a best practice facilitator working on improvement projects in the electricity industry and retired in 2016 as a Technical Services Engineering Officer. He has qualifications and extensive experience as an Engineering Officer and qualifications in Management and Project Management.
He joined the Rotary Club of Mackay in 2004 and has held the positions of D9570 RAWCS Chair, Northern Region RABS Chair (D9550, D9570, D9600, D9630, D9640) and D9570 Group 1 Assistant Governor. As District Governor 2019-2020 of District 9570 he has spent years working to improve the governance and procedures of the district. He is on the Board of Directors of Australian Rotary Health and for many years was on the Board of Directors of the Mackay Apex Club and the Mackay Youth Orchestra.
Karen and Michael have travelled to the Solomon Islands twice, Cambodia once and Vanuatu nine times on Rotary projects. He was the chair of the Mackay Mental Health and Wellbeing Fair and was part of the team that raised the funds for a ARH PhD research grant. Michael was made a Paul Harris Fellow in 2009, received his second Paul Harris Fellow and Karen was made a Paul Harris Fellow in 2010. Michael received his third Paul Harris Fellow from District 9570 in 2010. Karen and Michael have attended Rotary International Conventions in Bangkok, Lisbon, Sydney, Seoul, Atlanta Toronto and Hamburg.
Mark Lean (Past District Governor)
Managing Director Support Portfolio
Mark was born in Townsville and spent 42 years of his working life in the Australian Steel Industry with strong focus on Sales, Sales Management, Business Operations, Strategic Planning, Workplace Safety, Regional Management, Business Leader Coaching and Performance Management across many sites both small and large, before retiring in 2011. Since 2012, Mark has been General Manager and Board Member of a small Not-For-Profit organisation that provides employment opportunities for people with a disability and/or disadvantage.
Mark joined the Rotary Club of Gladstone in 1987, and in 1989 transferred to the Rotary Club of Mackay North. During his time in Rotary, Mark has held several positions within the Club including President, Club Service Director, Secretary, three International Service Directorships, Sergeant, RAWCS Team Leader, and TRF/International Service Director. There have also been many District roles including Board Member, Group 1 Assistant Governor, TRF Chair, GSE Team Leader to Wales in 2001 and RLI Trainer. Mark is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow recipient and was District 9570 Governor from 2013-2014.
Mark has been a Director of Australian Rotary Health since September 2017.
Blessed with three married children and six grandchildren, caravanning enthusiasts Mark and wife Karen live in Mackay, North Queensland.
Martti Kankkunen (District 9560 Governor Elect)
Managing Director Projects Portfolio
Martti was born in Finland and migrated with his family to Australia in 1974, when he was 17 years old. He finished his high school education in Brisbane, where he met Karen. In 1980, Martti graduated from University of Queensland as a Structural Engineer, and commenced his mining engineering career at Peak Downs Mine, in Central Queensland.
Martti worked 18 years in various Central Queensland open cut coal mines, before settling back to Brisbane in 1999, where he continued his mine planning career until his retirement in July 2018. Martti and Karen relocated to the beautiful town of Seventeen Seventy, where their new house, with lots of room for guests, is located.
Martti and Karen transferred from Logan RC to Discovery Coast RC in late 2018, and are enjoying the fellowship and community service of their current club. Martti understands that there will be a lot of hard work, long distance travel, new challenges and many rewards before he takes on the DG’s role, and beyond, for the huge new district of 9560 in July 2021. However, Martti knows that Rotary will be there every step of the journey to provide guidance and assistance.
Martti and Karen have two daughters. Kirsti, 33, who is a neuro physiologist and works in Adelaide, and Jamie, 31, who is an environmental scientist and works in Mackay. They are enjoying being grandparents and looking forward to able to spoil the new family member.
Martti’s interests are enjoying Saunas, woodworking, swimming, kayaking, walking, and Rotary. He has been involved with Rotary some 20 years (Moura RC and Logan RC), and is passionate about the Rotary Foundation because it does so much good in the world. Martti’s Rotary positions include Secretary, President (x 2), New Generations Director, councillor for Rotary Peace Fellows, Assistant Governor and District Rotary Foundation Chair. Karen is also a Rotarian and is Secretary of the Health Education and Wellness Action Group, and has participated through them in Global Grant programs in the Rakhine in Myanmar and last year in a small village two hour outside of Qin Li in Western China in April 2018. They both have enjoyed attending four International Conventions over the years, and in 2019 are looking forward to meeting up with Rotary friends from around the world in Hamburg, Germany.
John Hall (District 9560 Governor Nominee)
Assistant District Governor Liaison
John is a proud native of the north-west Queensland town of Cloncurry where he grew up in family with roots in the cattle industry and the land.
As was typical for rural families, John attended boarding school – All Souls and St Gabriel’s at Charters Towers. Upon leaving school, John studied veterinary science for three years before studying and working as an engineering surveyor with Queensland Main Roads. After four years as a surveyor, John moved to Townsville to work in the Office of the Minister for Northern Development and then in policy development and service delivery across various regional Queensland Government development portfolios. During this time, he completed a Bachelor of Economics at James Cook University. Since 1999, he has worked in employment and training portfolios culminating as Regional Director of Training in the Queensland Department of Education and Training to 2015. Currently, John is an employment facilitator contracted by the Federal Government to lead services in workforce development including assisting retrenched workers and other jobseekers in North Queensland.
John married Irene, a public relations specialist in 1994. The couple has two children, Jack 20, and Maya, 18. John and Irene are both GSE alumni; John to the USA in 1993 and Irene to India in 1997.
An invitation by Rotarian Bill Muguira to join Mundingburra Rotary in 2008 was perfect timing with John looking to add to his life by contributing to the community. John has served as a board member in various portfolios since 2009 and President in 2012-13 for his club. He has actively supported the youth exchange program and joined the District 9550 training team in 2015, serving as District Trainer since 2017. His other areas of interest include mental health, education and club development. John was recognised by Mundingburra Rotary with a Paul Harris Fellowship in 2015. John’s Rotary philosophy centres on assisting Rotarians and clubs to get the best out of their Rotary experience. With this philosophy, he has enjoyed opportunities to directly and indirectly improve the lives of others through projects ranging from internal club welfare to local community projects and international programs such as Polio Plus and RAWCS Helping Hands. John is grateful to his club and district colleagues for making Rotary fun.
John is an avid rugby league fan and proud supporter of the North Queensland Cowboys.
Non-Executive Director District Legal Officer
Chris Parker was born in England and emigrated to Australia with his family when he was a young child. He lived in several different Australian States prior to relocating to Queensland when he was a teenager.
After completing his Secondary Education Chris worked in the Queensland Department of Justice for 16 years occupying various positions in the Magistrates Court and the Director of Public Prosecutions. During his time with Justice Chris commenced studying Law and was admitted as a Solicitor in 1995.
Chris relocated to Bundaberg, with his wife, in 2003 where he took up partnership with Charltons Lawyers.
Chris is an active supporter of several charitable and sporting groups in Bundaberg including the Bundaberg Health Services Foundation, North Bundaberg Cricket Club and the Bundaberg and Coral Isles Cycling clubs.
In recent years Chris has competed in a number of triathlons. He regularly enjoys cycling, running, four-wheel driving, camping, caravanning and fishing.
Chris has been an active member of Rotary for 10 years and is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Bundaberg Sunrise and the Bundaberg Law Association and Board Chair of Saint Patricks Catholic School Bundaberg. He is also a recent appointment to the Board of Shalom College Bundaberg.
Chris’ extensive experience in the law and Rotary led him to accept appointment as District Legal Officer for District 9570 in 2018/2019.
Non-Executive Director District Insurance Officer